Pac-12 basketball: Arizona State falls to UTEP; Montana stuns Washington
Bryson Williams had 22 points and 10 rebounds, Souley Boum added 18 points and UTEP dominated the second half to beat Arizona State 76-63 Wednesday night.
The Miners opened their desert road trip by keeping Arizona close until the Wildcats stretched the lead in the final three minutes to win 69-61.
UTEP (3-2) appeared to be in trouble against Arizona State after a late run put the Sun Devils up eight at halftime. The Miners picked up the pace to start the second half and picked apart the Sun Devils’ pressure defense to pull away.
The Miners made 15 of 30 shots in the second half and held Arizona State (4-3) to two extended scoring droughts to earn their biggest nonconference wins in three seasons under coach Rodney Terry.
The Sun Devils dropped a desert dud in their final game before the Pac-12 season resumes next week.
Arizona State was plagued by too much one-on-one basketball on offense and couldn’t slow the Miners on defense in the second half. The Sun Devils went 1 for 18 from the 3-point arc — missing all 11 attempts in the second half — and didn’t score over the final 5:34.
Josh Christopher led Arizona State with 24 points.
The Sun Devils were dominated in the paint in a lopsided loss to No. 18 San Diego State last week, so being better inside inside became a priority.
Arizona State established Jalen Graham in the paint early — nine points in six minutes — and Christopher took over after that, scoring 13 first-half points. Arizona State had 26 points in the paint, using a closing 10-2 run to lead 41-33.
UTEP shot decently (14 of 30) in the first half, but had 10 turnovers that led to 11 points for Arizona State.
The Miners, sparked by Boum, opened the second half with a 13-2 run. Boum had nine points, hitting consecutive 3-poitners and three free throws after being fouled on another attempt from the arc.
UTEP kept making shots and shut down Arizona State — more than five minutes without a field goal — to push the lead to 66-56 with eight minutes left.
Arizona State used its defense to spark its offense while cutting the lead to five, but UTEP answered with a 8-0 run to go up 76-63 with 2 1/2 minutes left.
The Miners kept the lead in place by breaking Arizona State’s pressure and holding the Sun Devils to 1-of-10 shooting to close the game.
Colorado 91, Omaha 49
McKinley Wright IV had 17 points and eight assists and Colorado never trailed in its 91-49 win over Omaha on Wednesday.
Wright made 6 of 8 from the field, grabbed five rebounds and did not commit a turnover. Freshman Jabari Walker had season highs with 15 points and nine rebounds, Dallas Walton scored 14 points and D’Shawn Schwartz added 11 for Colorado (4-1).
The Buffaloes made six of their first seven shots to take a 15-4 lead when Wright hit a 3-pointer less than four minutes into the game. Walker converted a three-point play and made one of Colorado’s three 3s in a 14-0 run that made it 32-9 with 8:48 left in the first half.
La’Mel Robinson led Omaha (2-6) with 11 points.
Colorado went into the game ranked No. 10 nationally in scoring defense (55.0) and No. 16 in field-goal percentage defense (.354) and limited its second consecutive opponent to fewer than 50 points. The Buffaloes, who beat Northern Colorado 81-45 on Monday, have not allowed an opponent to score more than 61 points this season.
The Mavericks, who came in ranked 293rd in the nation in scoring, averaging 61.7 points, had their lowest scoring output of the season. They shot 31% (19 of 61) from the field and made just six of their season-low nine free-throw attempts.
Oregon State 73, Texas San Antonio 61
Ethan Thompson scored 22 points and Oregon State rallied late to beat UTSA 73-61 on Wednesday to snap a three-game losing streak.
UTSA scored the first 13 points of the game, held a 34-30 advantage at the break and led for much of the second half. But Oregon State took a 53-52 lead on Zach Reichle’s basket with 5:28 to go, starting an 11-2 run to make it 62-54 at the 1:51 mark. The Beavers had a two-possession lead the rest of the way.
In its previous three games, Oregon State (3-3) had second-half leads of 10 points (Washington State), 11 (Wyoming) and eight (Portland) but weren’t able to hang on.
Jarod Lucas and Warith Alatishe each added 13 points for Oregon State. The Beavers had their game against USC on Sunday postponed, and could go 29 days between Pac-12 opponents when facing Stanford on December 31.
Cedrick Alley Jr. led UTSA (2-3) with 14 points. Jhivvan Jackson, averaging 18.7 points per game, finished with 10 on 3-of-18 shooting and Keaton Wallace was held to five points after making just 1 of 11 from the field.
Last year, the duo of Jackson and Wallace were one of the most dynamic backcourt combinations in the nation. Jackson set Conference USA and UTSA records with 26.8 points per game — ranking second nationally — and Wallace averaged 18.8 points.
Montana 66, Washington 58
Kyle Owens scored 13 points despite struggling with his shot, Josh Vazquez scored seven of his 12 points in the final three minutes, and Montana stunned Washington 66-58 on Wednesday night.
Montana beat the Huskies for the first time since Nov. 28, 1994, closing the game on a 15-5 run. It was Montana’s first win over a Power Five conference team since beating Pittsburgh in November 2017 and its first win over a Pac-12 opponent since beating Oregon State in December 2010.
Montana (2-4) finished with five players in double figures. Owens was just 4-of-18 shooting, but had plenty of help. Josh Bannan had 12 points, Michael Steadman added 11 and Brandon Whitney scored 10.
Nate Pryor and Nate Roberts each scored 13 points to lead Washington (1-5), but the Huskies could not overcome an awful first half where they trailed 33-21 at the break. Riley Sorn added 10 points all in the second half for the Huskies, but the biggest problem was a quiet night from leading scorer Quade Green.
Green, who was averaging 17 points per game, finished with just four points on 1-of-11 shooting and fouled out in the closing seconds.
Despite trailing much of the night, Washington took its first lead since it was 5-4 on Jamal Bey’s free throw with 4:26 left. Green’s two free throws with 3:50 left gave the Huskies a 53-51 lead, but that’s when Montana took over.
Vazquez knocked down his second 3-pointer of the game to put the Grizzlies back in front. He added a pair of free throws after Hameir Wright missed a pair for Washington and after another empty trip by the Huskies, Whitney’s 3 put the Grizzlies in front 59-53 with 2:12 left. Vazquez added another basket for a 61-53 lead and the Grizzlies made enough free throws in the closing minutes.
Washington finished just 8 of 19 at the free throw line and missed all five 3-point attempts in the second half.
Get our high school sports newsletter
Prep Rally is devoted to the SoCal high school sports experience, bringing you scores, stories and a behind-the-scenes look at what makes prep sports so popular.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.